This time of year is often met with a renewed focus on the things you want to accomplish in the next 365 days. Whether you believe in setting resolutions or simply want to commit to being a better version of yourself, we encourage you to get a little inspiration by declaring your intention for 2022.
Doing an intention-setting exercise is a small but powerful way to begin down the path to success. Setting intentions helps you create the life and career that you want by design, giving you something concrete to work toward rather than making choices without a clear outcome in mind. The best part? It’s super simple.
Take just a moment to think about your word for the year. Simply speaking aloud one word that represents your intentions for yourself in the coming year is an easy, but effective way to get your mind focused on what you’d like to accomplish for yourself. For an even more potent method, write your word down and display it somewhere you’ll be able to see it often. Studies show that creating visual reminders of what we’d like to accomplish helps to keep those ideas top of mind and significantly increases the likelihood that we will be able to realize those desires.
So, what’s your word for 2022? We’d love to hear it! If you feel so inclined, please take a moment to share your word with us in the comments below!
One of the most important tools for a jobseeker to have in their job search toolkit is a strong 30-second commercial, also known as an “elevator pitch”. This is a great way to introduce yourself to new contacts, and allows you to communicate professionally and appear polished when meeting new people. There are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that your 30-second commercial makes the best first impression for you. Read on below to find out how to create your own winning elevator pitch.
What should I keep in mind when developing my 30-second commercial?
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! Your 30-second commercial should be conversational and natural. Although prepared in advance, it should never sound memorized. You want to appear confident, enthusiastic, poised and professional. Make it memorable but not outrageous. You are competing with many other qualified candidates. Your commercial should allow you to stand out a bit from the crowd. Whether it is the vocabulary you choose or a specific achievement you mention, you want to engage the listener and give them an opportunity to see your personality.
Questions to Think About in Developing Your 30-Second Commercial:
1. What is your career goal? (Frame it in the form of doing something for someone)
2. What skill, strength, or experience do you have that would help you realize that goal?
3. What accomplishment proves you have that skill, strength, or experience?
4. What are you searching for in a job?
5. How can you immediately benefit the organization?
How should I format my 30-second commercial?
First sentences: Include your name, where you are from, your alma mater and what you studied.
Middle sentences: Quickly summarize your relevant experience. Do not reiterate your resume. For example, mention your industry and your most recent roles, the key skills you use and developed as well as an accomplishment with results. Mention your future career goals. Try framing it as, “One accomplishment I am most proud of…” or “One key strength that I would bring to your organization is…”
Last sentences: Briefly relay how your background led you to your career exploration. If you are in an interview, explain why you are interested in the organization and this role.
Pro Tip: Even though you may get the request, “Tell me about yourself”, this does not mean that you should share personal information about your family, marital status, health conditions, or negative stories about former employers. The employer or networking contact can get a sense of your personality by your responses and attitude regarding work. If you share personal information, it may be used against you in their decision to stay engaged with you as a candidate or networking contact.
We would love for you to join us at the April meeting of the Alumni Career Management Job Club, where we will be providing networking time for participants to practice their elevator pitches with one another live. If you’d like to take part, register here.
Hello there Buckeyes! It’s time to feature another wonderful alumnus from your ranks for this quarter’s Alumni Spotlight!
This time our spotlight is Mindy Derr, an avid philanthropist who founded and now serves as advisor for OhioHealth Fore Hope. Fore Hope is a nationally recognized nonprofit organization that uses golf as an instrument for therapy designed to improve the lives of persons living with neurological and cognitive disorders. Through this organization, which Mindy founded in 1989, countless numbers of patrons have reaped the therapeutic benefits of golf and had their lives forever changed by Mindy’s vision.
Mindy Derr – Community Advocate and Founder/Consultant, Fore Hope (OhioHealth Fore Hope) (1981 – BA, Communications)
What brought you to The Ohio State University?
I am actually a nontraditional student. I entered school at a later age because I recognized that I needed certain life and career skills in order to achieve a career that I loved. Prior to enrolling, I had gone through a lot of “trial and error”, experimenting with different jobs for women. Then, I took the advice of a good friend who was also a professor here. I enrolled in night classes, working full time during the day, and eventually began taking classes full time as well.
How did your experience at Ohio State shape your career path?
Ohio State opened my eyes to what was possible in a bigger world. I am from a very small town, and so being here was a huge change for me. I also made tremendous friendships along the way that helped me better experience the vastness of what the world had to offer, both within and without the University. OSU “launched” me into the world of social programs. I got to enter into this world where I learned to network, raise funds, and more – and I wouldn’t have even been eligible to begin a career like that had I not gotten my degree. I took specific classes that helped improve my language and writing skills, but I also learned courage. It helped me make my life better, which continues to help me even now.
What advice or insight do you have for Ohio State alumni and students interested in your career field?
My advice for anyone, regardless of their career path, would be to follow their dreams and their mission. Go for it, give it all you’ve got, and don’t refuse the calling on your life. Don’t stomp on anyone else’s dreams along the way, either. Be wise about everything. Specifically, if you would like to begin a career in the world of community advocacy and nonprofit, make sure that you surround yourself with people who can support your mission. Be sure that you have a circle that include people who know about taxes and accounting, that you’re building a succession plan, and more. Begin with the end in mind, and be smart enough to know that you cannot possibly know everything.
The world of the job seeker is a dynamic one, constantly evolving to keep up with changes in technology and the needs and desires of employers. As the workforce changes, so must the ways in which applicants communicate to potential employers how they can best fit their needs.
We already know that your resume is a living document, and as such, it is regularly evolving. More than a simple list of your prior work and education experiences, your resume communicates to employers the story of your professional development, including all relevant and important accomplishments you have achieved.
One effective way to realize this is to utilize the CAR/PAR method. The acronyms CAR and PAR stand for Challenge > Action > Results or Problem > Action > Results. This is an efficient and effective way to build your resume and practice answers for interview questions.
Consider each job that you have listed on your resume – what were the most important tasks that you were given? Then, reframe your thoughts a bit – every “task” can also be seen as a problem or challenge. Think specifically about the important tasks that you have taken on – the ones that required true strategy and resourcefulness in order to solve. These are the ones that employers are most interested in hearing about.
Instead of: Accountable for sales quota
Try: Tasked with maintaining accurate sales records for three sales teams
Now that you’ve identified the challenge, the next step is to spell out how you solved the problem. You should be as concise as possible, stating simply how you were able to affect change for the better on your resume or to your employer in an interview. This is the shortest part of the CAR/PAR statement, so be careful not to spend too much time on it.
Example: Developed a comprehensive product library consisting of 4,820 models
Engineered and implemented company intranet using Google Sites
Now you’ve reached the important part – the section that employers care about the most. You’ve identified your problem and talked about the action that you took in order to solve it – were you able to succeed? Typically we call these your “deliverables” in your resume, and, where possible, they are quantifiable. At a minimum, you should have five in your resume.
Example: Tasked with streamlining business operations, engineered and implemented user-friendly company intranet via Google Sites, increasing productivity and reducing data errors by 20%
Interested in trying the CAR/PAR Method while sprucing up your resume? Check out the worksheet here for a little help!
It’s time to spotlight another of our distinguished alumni! Today, we feature Dr. Elisse Wright Barnes, entrepreneur and workforce development instructor. Read below to learn more about her journey, how she came to choose Ohio State, and how that has impacted her career trajectory.
Dr. Elisse Wright Barnes, JD, PhD
Owner and CEO of Your LinkedN Driving Instructor – Workforce Education for 50+ Jobseekers (MA, Humanities – 1996; PhD, Humanities – 2002)
What brought you to The Ohio State University? I am a Columbus native, so when I discovered that, after several years as an assistant dean and despite having a law degree, my opportunities for promotion were limited; I decided to get the “union card”: a doctoral degree. Due to the low cost of living in Columbus, I decided it was the perfect place to accomplish this goal while living on a student stipend. It was a wonderful experience because when I left Columbus to go start my post-high school education, I was a child. When I returned, I had the opportunity to develop a close relationship with my parents as an adult.
How did your experience at Ohio State shape your career path?
By the time I returned, my mother was a member of the city council. I had the opportunity to work on her campaigns and to get to know the amazing women that surrounded her in Corporate Sisters, a support group she co-founded for African American female executives. I have remained politically active and have remained friends with many of the Corporate Sisters who have provided great professional assistance to me since I left Columbus. I have always admired the American Council on Education’s ACE-NIP program and I used my graduate assistant positions to create my own version of it by rotating through different departments on campus to learn more about university administration. When I decided to return to the DC area, former OSU professor John Roberts, who was serving as Deputy Chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities at the end of the Clinton administration, helped me obtain a temporary appointment there.
What advice/insight do you have for Ohio State alumni and students interested in your career field?There are so many jobs people never think of. Focus on the hidden job market. Hidden jobs are often the best jobs. Informational interviews are an awesome way to network, obtain valuable advice, and explore a variety of career options. Cast a broad net. Meet as many people doing different things as you possibly can. You never know who can help you because you don’t know who their friends, family, in-laws, and college roommates are. Being an assistant dean for student affairs at a graduate school wasn’t on my radar screen until I became one. But it was, by far, my favorite job because I really enjoy working with adult learners. Because of that experience, I’ve been able to develop a business that I love as a workforce educator and trainer for baby boomer job seekers, career transitioners, and entrepreneurs. Forget about job titles. Look for the professional life you want. Who do you want to work with? What cause excites you? How do you want to spend your day? Knowing the answers to those questions are the keys to career success.
Happy Monday all! Here it a quick list of resources and tools to help you in your job search this week:
JobScan.co is one of the top resources currently being used to help jobseekers here in the Office of Alumni Career Management. JobScan is a versatile and intuitive software program that reviews your resume and compares it against the job description of your choice, reading it like an applicant tracking system (ATS).
Why it’s great: Because most companies use an ATS in their hiring processes now, JobScan gives you an edge over other applicants by letting you see what an HR person will see when they review your resume. This means that you can (and should) tailor it specifically to meet the needs of a given position – and JobScan walks you through exactly how to do that step-by-step.
Where you can get it: Visit JobScan.co and create a free account to try it out today!
Canva is an easy to use and intuitive tool that allows you to create your own personalized graphics for use on social media and/or business cards. This is an easy way to establish and maintain your personal brand, which is a huge asset whether you’re currently in the job search or simply looking to further develop yourself and your presence online. Having graphics that are custom to you allows you to make an impression on those who interact with you online, and support a cohesive (and beautifully professional) brand image.
Why it’s great: You can create beautiful graphics for social media and other personal marketing materials. Plus, it is fast, free, and user-friendly, making it easy to use regardless of your level of skill.
For those of you who have reached a point in your career where you are unsure about the direction that you want your career to go in, career exploration assessments are always a great option. Most career consultant offices generally offer the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Inventory as options to assist you in this exploration – at a cost. Before you commit to the price of an assessment package, however, I suggest that jobseekers check out the MyNextMove Interest Profiler provided by Onet Online (a service of the US Department of Labor). MyNextMove offers an assessment that is similar to the Strong Interest Inventory (I generally refer to it as “Strong – Lite”), and provides an interactive way to explore the career paths that are suggested by the assessment results.
Why it’s great: It’s a free career assessment that allows you to do some in-depth exploration and get some ideas on potential paths that you might like to pursue without investing $100+ in paid testing through a career consultant. It also connects to Onet Online, which provides you with the tools to not only explore the context of the many different career paths that are available to you, but also lets you look into salary expectations, job outlook for the next 5 years, type of education needed, and more.
The holidays are upon us, and for most of us, this is a season that is filled with love and laughter, but also a great deal of stress and anxiety. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, where we have a tendency to spread ourselves thin with regard to our money, time, and energy. However, this time of year is one where it is even more important than usual to practice mindfulness in order to be the best version of yourself, for yourself and for those friends and loved ones around you. Here are a few ways you can practice mindfulness this holiday season and beyond, cultivating a clear head and peace of mind now and in the coming year as well.
This is the first and most basic tenets of mindfulness – being present in the here and now. At the root of it, this is exactly what mindfulness is. Take time to slow down and not get ahead of yourself in your head. Work to let go of thoughts about “what needs to be done next” or “how many more items on your to-do list that haven’t been checked off”. Be in the present moment, with whomever you happen to be sharing it with at the time, and allow that to be enough. What will be, will be, and you’ll be better prepared to handle it if you are able to go into it with a clear head instead of one that is clouded with worry.
Work on one thing at a time
In our culture especially, we have a tendency to glorify being busy. We think that multi-tasking is just a way of life, and if you’re not juggling at least three things at any given point in time, you’re clearly not working hard enough.
Stop. It’s a lie!
Try instead to “single-task” – that is, work on one thing at a time, and allow it to have your full attention. You’ll find that by doing this, you’re more productive and better able to get things done, and you’ll likely feel less stress in the meantime.
Instead of focusing on the things that you want or need that you don’t currently have, take a little time out to be purposefully grateful for what you do have. In the holiday season especially, it is easy for us to get caught up in wanting MORE – more time, more energy, more money, more stuff… But what if we took a moment or two to simply be thankful for what we already have? Look for opportunities to feel grateful on purpose throughout your day and watch how much of an impact it has on your overall mood and outlook.
These are just a few quick tips to help you remain present and mindful as you navigate your way through this holiday season. Wishing you all the best through the holidays and into the new year from your friends in Alumni Career Management.